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Types of abuse

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Abuse can take different forms. Seniors may be victims of several types of abuse by one or more individuals around them.

Different behaviours or attitudes characterize the different types of abuse.

Physical abuse

Seniors are victims of physical abuse when they:

  • are hit;
  • are pushed;
  • have objects thrown at them;
  • are forced to eat;
  • are confined;
  • are bullied;
  • have to wait too long for help going to the bathroom.

Psychological or emotional abuse

Seniors are victims of psychological or emotional abuse when they are:

  • humiliated;
  • threatened;
  • verbally assaulted;
  • spoken to degradingly;
  • treated like children;
  • ignored;
  • isolated.

Seniors are also psychologically or emotionally abused when someone attacks:

  • their identity;
  • their dignity;
  • their self-esteem;
  • their values, beliefs or religious practices.

Sexual abuse

Seniors are victims of sexual abuse when someone:

  • fondles them;
  • engages in exhibitionism in front of them, i.e. when individuals expose their genitals to them;
  • sexually assaults them;
  • ridicules their need to live and express their sexuality.

Material or financial abuse

Seniors are victims of material or financial abuse when:

  • money is extracted from them by emotional blackmail;
  • their goods, money or jewellery are stolen;
  • they are pressured to bequeath a legacy;
  • their retirement funds are embezzled;
  • they are defrauded by identity theft;
  • they are defrauded by telemarketing;
  • they are defrauded by inappropriate use of their bank cards or a banking power of attorney.

Violation of human rights

The rights of seniors are violated when:

  • they are victims of discrimination based on age (ageism);
  • medical treatment is imposed on them against their will, when they have the capacity to decide for themselves.

However, individuals can be limited in the exercise of their rights, such as the right to manage their own property, following a judgment of the court appointing a tutor, a curator or a mandatary for an individual. These are protective measures and not a violation of rights. However, persons protected by protective supervision (tutorship or curatorship) or by a mandate given in anticipation of their incapacity are capable of consenting to receive care if they understand its nature and scope. This capacity to consent must be verified each time care is proposed to a person.


Seniors are victims of neglect when individuals around them omit to take an action necessary for their welfare. For example, when such an individual no longer ensures that the senior's fundamental needs are satisfied or that he or she is provided with physical and mental care.

This omission may be intentional or result from a lack of knowledge or awareness of the situation.




The Ligne Aide Abus Aînés : 1 888 489-2287


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Last modified date :
December 16, 2016